Globe and the Bangsamoro Telecommunications Commission intensified its crackdown against illegal signal boosters that have been causing slow connections, dropped calls, and poor voice quality in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Globe and representatives from the Bangsamoro Telecommunications Commission (BTC) earlier held a scanning activity, which led to the confiscation of more than 50 illegal repeaters in Lanao del Sur through the help of the police and military.
Before the operations, Globe met with BTC Commissioner Muhammad Ameen Abbas to discuss the rampant use of illegal boosters in the region. Both sides agreed to educate, stop, and discourage people from buying and using the equipment. A task force was also established to oversee the activity.
A signal booster or repeater is a device used for boosting the signal from a cell tower. It works by receiving, amplifying, and rebroadcasting a signal within a specific area.
If installed without authorization from a network provider, the booster can interfere with cellular network signals in a community. It may affect online schooling and online livelihood activities, or worse, result in dire consequences during emergencies.
Atty. Froilan Castelo, Globe General Counsel, said illegal signal boosters and repeaters negate efforts of telcos to expand their capability and connectivity through massive infrastructure investments.
“We are exerting so much effort in making the mobile and internet experience more enjoyable for our customers, especially in these times when connectivity is an essential part of every Filipino household. But our network expansion and upgrade will be useless if there are people who continue to use illegal repeaters and disrupt the network,” Castelo said.
Abbas, meanwhile, asserted that the use of signal boosters is illegal and vowed that the BTC would step up action to stop this activity.
“Selling or purchasing a signal booster is strictly prohibited. That is what the law says. The BTC will come out with strategies on how often we will conduct operations or inspections to stop the use of illegal repeaters,” Abbas said.
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) prohibits the sale, purchase, importation, possession, or use of cellular mobile repeaters and portable cell sites via Memorandum Order No. 01-02-2013.
Only licensed telecommunications providers, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and other government agencies involved in national security or safety are authorized to purchase, import, possess, and use such devices.
Globe is reiterating its call for the NTC to develop an updated framework against the sale and use of illegal boosters and repeaters in the country. This equipment is sold rampantly online and causes network disruptions.
Globe strongly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly UN SDG No. 9, highlighting the roles of infrastructure and innovation as crucial drivers of economic growth and development. It is committed to upholding the UN Global Compact principles and contributing to 10 UN SDGs.
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